Total drug violations reported into the clearinghouse in 2022, including positive tests and refusals to take a drug test, increased 18% to 69,668 compared with last year’s 59,011, according to the most recent statistics released this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That rate almost doubled the 9.2% annual increase in drug violations reported in 2021. Much of the increase can be attributed to violations related to marijuana, the substance identified most in positive tests. Marijuana violations increased 31.6% in 2022 compared with 2021, to 40,916. That compares to a 5.3% increase between 2020 and 2021.
Truck drivers have been reported as a highly vulnerable working population due to different risk factors [16,17,18] including hypertension, fatigue , obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and sleep deprivation [20,21], and insufficient physical activity . Other risk factors are exposure to diesel exhaust and risk of developing lung cancer , poor diet, obesity, dyslipidemia, and other metabolic disorders . Furthermore, they are prone to risky behaviors and lifestyles such as smoking, drinking, using psychoactive substances, and having casual sexual contacts .
Patterns of Harmful Alcohol Consumption among Truck Drivers: Implications for Occupational Health and Work Safety from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis — Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jun; 15(6): 1121. Published online 2018 May 30. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061121
I ask them why the industry has a 90 percent attrition rate within the first year. All instantly respond: “No money.” They describe a predatory apprenticeship system that conspires against new drivers seeking to enter the profession. The industry is made up of thousands of mostly small-fleet owners—95 percent of them with 20 trucks or fewer—but dominated by about two dozen giant companies that serve as its gatekeepers. These megacarriers often house schools where some 400,000 new truckers receive commercial driver’s licenses annually. The companies entice people with promises of financial plenty, even as they ensnare them in “training contracts”—binding agreements that require them to drive for the company at below-market wages for a year in exchange for training or else be hit with an exorbitant fee for that training, to be paid off at high interest. Many drivers stick around for the full year to avoid those fees, enduring what amounts to debt peonage.
“I have panic attacks,” he says. “That’s why I drink.”
Up to one-third of crashes of large trucks are attributable to sleepiness, and large truck crashes result in more than 4,000 deaths annually. For each occupant of a truck who is killed, 6 to 7 occupants of other vehicles are killed.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is characterized by repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep.1 OSA is common among adults,2,3 and it is particularly common in commercial operators.4–8 Untreated OSA leads to increased morbidity and mortality, as well as high costs related to crashes, health care use, absenteeism, and lost productivity.9–11 A systematic review and meta-analysis commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that drivers with OSA have a crash risk that is between 21% and 489% higher than comparable drivers without OSA.12 A 2013 meta-analysis of more than 25,000 individuals who were enrolled in 12 studies shows that OSA was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (relative risk: 1.79), fatal and nonfatal stroke (relative risk: 2.15), and death from all causes (relative risk: 1.92).13
Ageism is a real problem. And it could also be responsible for the low labor force getting stuck at this level. Boomers are now between around 56 and 76. This is a huge generation. And in tech, when the hiring manager is 32, and you’re 56, it’s tough getting that job. And when you’re 62, it’s even tougher just to get anyone’s attention. Some succeed. But many don’t.
Many of these people, often with a superb job history, may never get a job in their field again. Many of them made enough money to where they don’t have to work. They’d like to work, but it’s tough getting ignored or rejected time after time because of age.
And they give up “actively” looking for a job, and thereby they’re removed from the labor force. They were dropped from the labor force due to ageism, not because they wanted to retire. And they might tell everyone, after they give up looking, that they’re “retired,” when in fact, they’d love to work in their field but are locked out.
Subsequent research discovered that this age-related U-shape in job satisfaction is part of a much broader phenomenon. A similar midlife nadir is detectable in measures of people’s overall life satisfaction and has been found in more than 50 countries. On average, life satisfaction is high when people are young, then starts to decline in the early 30s, bottoming out between the mid-40s and mid-50s before increasing again to levels as high as during young adulthood. And this U-curve occurs across the entire socio-economic spectrum, hitting senior-level executives as well as blue-collar workers and stay-at-home parents. It affects childless couples as well as single people or parents of four. In short, a mid-career crisis does not discriminate.
Hospital officials initially reported an outbreak of 44 infections traced back to the apparently impromptu Christmas celebration, but this would be the first fatality associated with the informal Dec. 25 visit. All 44, including the employee who died, had been working in the emergency department that day, according to NBC Bay Area, which also described the outbreak’s first victim as a woman who worked as a registration clerk in the department.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
The drop in the volume of employment in a given sector always has a ripple effect in the national economy. The loss of so many high-paying jobs in a short time will be a dent in the coffers of Los Angeles County and for New York state in the short term. Michele Evermore, senior policy analyst for the Washington, D.C.-based National Employment Law Project, says it hits at a time when other industries are undergoing similar sweeping realignments with huge human toll.
“Nobody’s got a plan for how to transition these massive sectors of the workforce into a different thing,” Evermore says.
As of Sept. 18, there have been at least 39,000 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 419 plants in 40 states, and at least 185 reported worker deaths in at least 51 plants in 27 states.
And in case you missed this interesting hypothesis…
Our laboratory work has shown that SARS-CoV-2 can survive the time and temperatures associated with transportation and storage conditions associated with international food trade. When adding SARS-CoV-2 to chicken, salmon and pork pieces there was no decline in infectious virus after 21 days at 4°C (standard refrigeration) and –20°C (standard freezing).
As of Jan. 22, there have been at least 45,000 reported positive cases tied to meat and poultry processing facilities from at least 482 outbreaks in 38 states, and at least 240 reported worker deaths in at least 62 plants in 27 states.
On June 26th, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the Current Level of Risk for Harris County from Level 2 to Level 1.
Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.
Regardless of current level indicated, all residents should continue the use of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of face coverings until there is a vaccine or a treatment for the virus. Additionally, residents exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days regardless of level indicated.
My vegetarian cookbook collection is growing. Grocery trips will include more shelf stable items so that I’ll be able to fix more meat-free meals in the near future.
The acquisition of more cookbooks is a rational strategy. I’ll need more sources besides the same recipe that shows up multiple times on multiple websites as the best (fill in the blank) for inspiration in the kitchen when the POTUS issues an Executive Order rationing animal proteins.
COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported by 19 states. Among approximately 130,000 workers at these facilities, 4,913 cases and 20 deaths occurred. Factors potentially affecting risk for infection include difficulties with workplace physical distancing and hygiene and crowded living and transportation conditions.
The article link is old. I’m unable to find any current data on the number of Covid-19 cases at the meat processing plant.
Like I’ve before, my vegetarian cookbook collection is growing. I’ll need more sources for inspiration in the kitchen when the government starts rationing animal proteins and mandates veganism.
“Unlike other supply chain issues, this has nothing to do with anyone overseas. This has to do with how many people can you make work inside one of these processing plants—they’re all very close to each other and there’s a public health risk,” Rubio said. “So there’s been disruptions there. I know people are working hard to get that resolved. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to go a little vegan, right?”
New data analysis from the Indianapolis Star shows that 4,400 meat processing workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Meatpacking workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at 80 different facilities in 26 states, resulting in 28 plant closures for one day or more.
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